Parts of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in East Hamilton were demolished today, as heavy machinery was used to make the site accessible to fire investigators. The building has been a cornerstone of the Ukrainian community since it was converted from a theatre in the 1960s.
Heavy machinery was brought in to knock down walls and remove debris to make it safe for the Ontario Fire Marshall to enter.
the centre was a place of refuge for Ukrainians who came to Hamilton after escaping the horrors of the second world war.
Most of the second floor has been destroyed, including an archive documenting the Ukrainian community over the last sixty years. The fire broke out just after midnight Saturday morning leading to the roof’s collapse. It was contained to the building. The fire department has estimated the loss at approximately two million dollars. The extensive damage means the Ontario Fire Marshall may need several days to investigate here on scene.
Machinery had to stop briefly in the afternoon as another hot spot was discovered. A testament to the ferocity of this destructive fire.
The investigative work continues as the Ukrainian community contemplates a path forward.